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SC To Hear Case of Barriers In Capital Today

The petitioner argued that the right to freedom of movement is a basic right of every person and that all executive authorities, state agencies, and institutions must adhere to the Constitution.

On Wednesday (today), the Supreme Court (SC) will hear a petition requesting the removal of roadblocks and barriers and safeguarding the free movement of inhabitants of the federal capital by prohibiting authorities from taking any unlawful action.

In contrast, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday to adhere to the Supreme Court’s directives about the long march.

Tuesday, a Supreme Court panel of of Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi will hear the plea filed by Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) President Mohammad Shoaib Shaheen.

In light of the PTI’s ‘Azadi’ March, which is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on May 25, the petition requested that the interior secretary and home secretaries of the four provinces remove obstacles erected on different highways that restricted the movement of citizens and prohibit state agencies and institutions from harassing people and taking any unconstitutional or illegal action.

The petition was filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution when Shoaib Shaheen, during a routine hearing in courtroom no. 1, drew the attention of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to the problems experienced by residents owing to roadblocks and police raids on the homes of attorneys.

At this point, the court remarked that it could not let anybody block the city and advised the attorney to file a petition since the court could not commence suo motu notice on its own, for which it had set certain criteria.

The petition then said that roads and highways were being blocked by various state institutions or administrative agencies, making it impossible for senior lawyers and advocates to access the courts and impeding the movement of people, ambulances, and physicians.

The petitioner argued that the right to freedom of movement is a basic right of every person and that all executive authorities, state agencies, and institutions must adhere to the Constitution.

In addition, it said that protestors or participants in the PTI-led “Azadi” March were required to respect the fundamental rights of all people and adhere to the Constitution and law.

The petition highlighted press and electronic media reports that citizens, including advocates, parliamentarians, suspected protesters, and workers of a particular political party, were being arrested and harassed in violation of their fundamental rights, which was illegal, unlawful, and against the Constitution.

PTI instructed to comply with SC directives
Tuesday, the IHC recommended the PTI to adhere to the Supreme Court’s directions for the long march and asked the necessary authorities to do the same in order to manage political gatherings in Islamabad.

Athar Minallah, the chief justice of the IHC, denied the PTI’s plea for a blanket injunction barring the arrest of its leaders and workers, although he issued directives that they not be harassed.

Amir Mehmood Kiani, the assistant general secretary of the PTI, filed a case with the IHC over the alleged harassment of PTI employees and requested that they not be detained.

Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, representing the petitioner, contended that the government had begun a crackdown on PTI supporters and was attempting to deny them their constitutional right to congregate and stage a peaceful demonstration.

Justice Minallah stated that the court could not issue a general injunction against the arrest since doing so would constitute an intrusion into the executive’s jurisdiction.

Nonetheless, he urged the government not to persecute political employees.

The court also urged the deputy commissioner and inspector general of police not to harass or violate the rights of citizens and to provide a plan to govern the gathering in light of the Supreme Court’s directives.

The court issued notifications to the district administration and Islamabad’s inspector general of police and set May 27 as the date for the next hearing.

Aimen Bukhari
Written By

Works at The Truth International Magazine. My area of interest includes international relations, peace & conflict studies, qualitative & quantitative research in social sciences, and world politics. Reach@ aimen.bukhari@tti.org.pk

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